Lee County unemployment nudged past Charlotte County and peaked at a three-year best 8.3 percent in November compared with 8.4 percent for its neighboring county.
November brought a fourth-straight month of unemployment declines for Lee and charlotte counties.
Lee County's November jobless rate is 2.2 percentage points under its 10.5 percent rate in November 2011.
The latest Florida Department of Economic Opportunity report showed the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in November, the lowest since November 2008 when it was 7.8 percent.
There were 760,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,343,000. The November rate was down 0.4 of a percentage point from the October rate of 8.5 percent and was 2 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 10.1 percent.
This was the second time in 2012 that the rate fell 0.4 of a percentage point over the month. Prior to this year, the last time the rate dropped this much in one month was October 1992.
CountyNovember 2011 November
Lee 10.5 percent 8.3 percent
Charlotte 10.2 percent 8.4 percent
Sarasota10.1 percent 8.3 percent
Florida 10.1 percent 8.1 percent
U.S. 8.9 percent 7.7 percent
Source: Florida Department
of Economic Opportunity
The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in November.
Florida's seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 7,402,200 in November 2012, an increase of 24,500 jobs. The number of jobs in the state was up 1.1 percent (83,300) from November 2011.
Nationally, the number of jobs was up 1.4 percent over the year.
November was the 28th consecutive month with positive annual job growth after the state lost jobs for three years.
In November, Monroe County (4.7 percent) had the state's lowest unemployment rate, followed by Walton County (5.5 percent), Okaloosa County (5.9 percent), and Wakulla County (6.1 percent).
Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate (11.6 percent) in Florida in November, followed by Flagler County (11.4 percent), St. Lucie County (10.5 percent), Putnam County (10.3 percent), and Madison County (10.2 percent).